After three consecutive trips to the state finals, the Spring Hill Lady Bears fell short to make it four in a row after a tough second round loss to McCrory 8-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Class 2A State Softball Tournament hosted in Pangburn.

After three consecutive trips to the state finals, the Spring Hill Lady Bears fell short to make it four in a row after a tough second round loss to McCrory 8-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Class 2A State Softball Tournament hosted in Pangburn.

The Lady Bears came out victorious in their first round bout on the diamond at state to beat Lavaca Lady Golden Arrows 10-8 to advance to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, the their title run for a third state championship came to an end, which finished their year of softball for 2018.

The Lady Bears wrapped up their season for a 18-10 overall record and qualifying to compete at regionals to finish third place from the south to continue their seasons to compete in the state softball tournament. The Lady Bears finished league play third in the conference at 8-4.

Head coach Tyler Welch with assistant coach David Clark kept the Lady Bears as a challenging force on the diamond in their first year taking over the softball program. Coach Welch expressed intense emotions of excitement by the production displayed during game action from the Lady Bears' performance in competitive match-ups. 

"I was real pleased how the season turned out. A few people counted us out, but the girls kept getting better and their work ethic was unbelievable. I'm extremely proud for them to make the state tournament and they exceeded expectation all year," Welch said.

"I'm disappointed by the way the season ended. They deserve to be playing this weekend. I wouldn't trade this group of girls for anything. They're just pretty special," Welch said. "I'm looking forward to next year and got a lot of work to. Definitely will miss the seniors but got some players coming back," he said.

The Lady Bears collected a total of 232 runs on 221 hits (139 singles, 56 doubles, 11 triples) in 28 games for the season.

CLASS 2A STATE SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT 2018

First Round

LADY BEARS 10, LAVACA 8

In the opening round of the 2A state softball tourney, the Spring Hill Lady Bears had to overcome a little adversity to win against Lavaca 10-8 in seven innings of action. The Lady Bears trailed 7-2 after the second inning, but rallied impressive in the third to collect five runs scored to knot the game at 7-7. Lavaca was held scoreless in the third inning due to productive defense by the Lady Bears. In the fourth inning, the Lady Bears and Lady Golden Arrows both scored a run apiece to keep the game tied, 8-8 heading into the fifth inning.

After a scoreless inning in the fifth, the Lady Bears made their spark with two runs scored in the sixth inning and held Lavaca without a run scored in the seventh to prevail Spring Hill to an two-run win. The Lady Bears scored 10 runs on 12 hits with 11 errors allowing Lavaca eight runs on six hits and five errors. 

Offensively, Katie Rivera collected two hits including a double with a run, Paige Runion and Brooklyn Reed each had a hit and a run apiece. Maegan Ward collected two hits that featured a home run scoring three runs with an RBI. Whitnee Lee scored two runs and had two hits with a double and three RBI's, Jessi Park had two hits and an RBI, Keylee Lewis blasted with two doubles and drove in three runs for three RBI's.

Rivera led the base running with three stolen bases and Lee had one base stolen. 

Defensively, Cheyenne Bobo brought the heat from the pitcher's circle and earned the win pitching seven innings of softball. Cheyenne Bobo allowed six hits, eight runs, two walks and struck out two batters and threw 64 strikes and 94 pitches.

Quarterfinals

In the second round of state softball tournament competition, the Lady Bears came across a team they've faced in past tourney play of McCrory Lady Jaguars but their match-up for 2018 favored their opposing team. The Lady Bears would fall 8-1 for a seven-run defeat and their exit out the state tournament. McCrory drove in two early runs in the first inning and fifth innings and four runs in the sixth that propelled them to victory. The Lady Bears were held to one run scored in the fourth that saw Ward homering to collect her second in postseason play and seventh for the season.

For the game, the Lady Bears sparked for one run while collecting five hits while McCrory accounted eight runs on eight hits with two errors. McCrory's Caroline Lane and Kyndal Dollar each homered and Carl Whitehead earned the win as the winning pitcher for the Lady Jaguars.

Offensively, the Lady Bears' River had two hits, Reed collected a double, Lewis had a hit and Ward led with a home run, RBI and a run. Defensively, Cheyenne Bobo pitched six innings, allowing eight runs, eight hits and struck out four batters, threw 60 strikes and a total of 86 pitches.